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Title: Fish in English economy and society down to the Reformation
Author: Littler, A. S.
Awarding Body: University College of Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1979
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The thesis sets out to document the important role of fish in early English economy and society and is a collection of studies around this theme. The first chapter examines the place of sea and fresh-water fish in medieval diet including a short discussion on the principal methods of fish-preparation and cookery; the second chapter is concerned with the development of the sea-fishing industry in north-western Europe during this period, along with certain related problems of fishery exploitation; the third chapter attempts a detailed reconstruction of one fishing ground in particular: the English herring fishery of the Middle Ages; the fourth chapter is a synopsis of the principal technological practices employed in the early fishing industry: the boats and nets used by the fishermen (both in inshore and sea fishing) and the chief commercial methods of preserving the catch including a short discussion of the advances pioneered in fishing techniques during this period; the fifth chapter examines the early evidence for the finance and organisation of English fishing activity along with certain aspects of its control and regulation; the final chapter documents the important role of fish in early English trade and is based on a study of the particulars of the customs accounts. The appendices include several tables relating to the English herring fishery of the Middle Ages and to the early English fish-import trade. A short glossary of terms likely to be encountered in the study of the early English fishing industry has also been included. The thesis makes use of a large number of published records (both central and municipal) along with unpublished material from the Public Record Office, British Museum, as well as a small amount of information from local record offices. Much emphasis has also been placed on the work of continental (particularly Dutch) historians working in this field.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available